BirdCast website uses radar to track birds migrating back to Northeast Ohio as a sign of spring

Forecast says we’re a little behind schedule, thanks to bomb cyclone

BirdCast website uses radar to track birds migrating back to Northeast Ohio as a sign of spring
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology has a BirdCast that uses radar to track birds migrating across the county. (Source: Cornell Lab of Ornithology)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -A website through the Cornell Lab of Ornithology called BirdCast tries to predict when birds will migrate back to Northeast Ohio as a sign of spring.

BirdCast website uses radar to track birds migrating back to Northeast Ohio as a sign of spring

Are we on schedule this spring?

“It’s hard to say,” Dr. Andrew Farnsworth said who is a Research Associate with Cornell lab. “We’re still early in the season. We’re about a month and a half away from the peak season. It does look like there will be some delays."

Dr. Farnsworth blames that delay on the “bomb cyclone” that tracked across the country this past week.

The BirdCast includes a “Live Migration Map” that uses the nations weather radars to track the birds migration.

“The radar is exceptionally good at picking up a whole range of things in the atmosphere like bugs, birds even the smoke from a wild fire,” Dr. Farnsworth said.

Because birds move at night the radar picks up “clouds” of birds migrating.

The denser the cloud, the brighter it shows up on the map.

“Tremendous amounts of bird migrate at night,” Dr. Farnsworth said. “More than 50 percent. It’s probably more like 90 percent.”

Copyright 2019 WOIO. All rights reserved.